Article by Muskan singh at lexcliq


Animal rights :

Since 1960, India has passed lot of animal reforms for protection of animal’s right. But still right from the ancient era to the current scenario, increasing numbers of crimes against animals are witnessed till date. The most heinous act of animal rapes ( bestiality ), slaughters of animals, objectifying them as a means for needs of human beings such as for meat, scientific research & experiments, cosmetic tests, clothing, shooting and what not?

The wildlife of the country seems to have no right of living their lives.


Bestiality –

The most heinous crime against the animals is raping them. This crime is increasing in numbers nowadays it’s not even safe for any animal to roam freely on streets, they too get raped. Section 377 of the Indian penal code defines –

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Section 377 does not address the extreme cruelty meted out against the animals, but only criminalizes the penetrative sexual intercourse with an animal. The animal rights body has urged the government to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and introduce stronger penalties for cruelty to animals and make bestiality a cognizable offence.


Animal protection rights and laws :

Article 51(A) G of the Indian Constitution reads as –

“It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.”


Section 428 & 429 of IPC – 

“Killing, maiming, poisoning or rendering useless of any animal is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years or with fine or with both.”


Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act provides that if any person allows, or himself beats, kicks or tortures, in any way, any animal subjecting it to unnecessary pain and suffering will be liable to pay a fine.

  • Section 11 (b) – “Anybody who employs any unfit animal, suffering from wound, infirmity, sores or an animal of an old age, to work”.
  • Section 11 (d) “Anybody who carries any animal subjecting it to pain or suffering.”
  • Section 11 (e)“If anyone keeps an animal in a cage or any other such confinement which is not sufficiently big enough as to let the animal move freely.”
  • Section 11 (j) “Any owner of an animal who allows his animal, affected with a contagious or infectious disease to die in any street.”
  • Section 11 (k)“Any person who offers for sale an animal that is suffering from pain due to mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or ill-treatment.”
  • Section 11 (o) of the PCA Act states the punishment if any person who either promotes or takes part in any shooting competition where animals are released from captivity for shooting or if he practices hunting animals then he’ll be held for punishable offence under IPC.

Laws relating to pets and their punishments are also found under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.


Section 503 of the IPC says,

“If any individual scaring someone else and averting him/her, who is the proprietor of a pet, from keeping or dealing with his/her pet can be held at risk.”


The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 includes the provisions for protection of wild animals, birds, aquatic animals and zoo animals.

  • Section 48A of the Act rejects transportation of any wild animal or birds aside from with the authorization of the Chief Wildlife Warden or some other authority permitted by the State Government.
  • Section 49 of the Act forbids the purchase without license of wild animals from dealers.


Laws relating to birds

Birds are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (WLPA) and in Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCAA), alongwith land and aquatic animals.

Under Section 16 (c) of the WLPA, it is unlawful to injure or destroy wild birds, reptiles, etc. or damaging or disturbing their eggs or nests. The person who is found guilty of any of this can be punished for upto 7 years in jail and be made to pay a fine of upto Rs 25,000.


Section 38A of the Wildlife protection Act accommodates basis of a Central Zoo Authority by the Central Government, which has the accompanying capacities of indicating the base norms for keeping of animals inside the zoo, perceive or derecognize zoos, perceive jeopardized species and relegate duties to zoos for their hostage rearing, and so forth.


Section 16 (c) of the Wildlife Protection Act, states the punishment for injuring or destroying wild birds, reptiles, etc. or damaging or disturbing their eggs or nests.

The Animal Protection (Dogs) Rules, 2001 provide for rules relating to pet and street dogs.

The Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules, 1998 provides general requirements for breeding and using animals for research.


Historical importance – 

According to hindu scriptures, Hinduism teaches everyone non-violence towards all living beings. Killing animals contribute to bad karma but at the same time there’s no law to stick to vegetarianism and instead there’s a practice to continue “the animal sacrifice in religious ceremonies”. Despite of the fact that major religions in india is not allowed to practice killing any animal for any purpose, people still continued the practice of animal slaughter in huge numbers.

During the Times of British India, post 1860 when the animal experimentation began in India. First Indian SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ( SPCA ) in 1861 & CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT, 1876.

Late 1800s “The Cow Protection movement” arose in northern India. Hindus initiated this movement for protection of cows, cattle slaughters were opposed & provided sanctuaries for cows.

Post independence of India, Cruelty against animals was criminalised with certain exceptions for the treatment of animals used for food purposes & scientific experiments under India’s first national animal welfare law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960). That led to formation of Animal Welfare Boards of India to animal welfare and ensure enforcements of anti-cruelty provisions. Certain restrictions were imposed for Animal transport, animal experiments ,etc.

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